Florida motorcycle accidents occur at an alarming rate. Each year, hundreds of people are killed in motorcycle crashes.
Florida is the fourth most dangerous state when it comes to motorcycle accidents in terms of deaths.
Motorcycle Accident Types in Florida
Different types of motorcycle accidents are known to occur in Florida. They are solo motorcycle accidents, collisions involving cars or trucks, incidents involving left turns, rear-end collisions, accidents in lane changes, dooring mishaps, intersection collisions, low-side and high-side crashes, going off-road, collisions with stationary objects and group riding incidents.
Solo Motorcycle Accidents
Solo motorcycle accidents are exactly as they sound; they involve a single motorcyclist who loses control of their vehicle and crashes. These accidents can vary in severity depending on the situation, but riders are almost always injured as a result.
Collisions Involving Cars or Trucks
Collisions involving cars or trucks are among the most serious types of motorcycle accidents that happen in Florida. If a larger vehicle strikes a motorcycle, it can have deadly consequences. This is especially true if the accident involves a huge commercial truck. A rider can be thrown from their motorcycle and sustain severe injuries or even be killed.
Incidents Involving Left Turns
Incidents involving left-hand turns account for the greatest number of deaths stemming from motorcycle accidents. These situations occur when a motorcycle is struck by a vehicle making a left turn or when a driver ignores a stop sign while turning left and hits a motorcycle. These accidents usually happen due to speeding, visibility issues, impaired driving, distraction or recklessness.
Rear-end motorcycle accidents rank as one of the most deadly. Riders can be ejected from their motorcycles and land on the road, sometimes in the path of an oncoming vehicle that has no chance to stop. A rider’s motorcycle can also skid out and send them hurtling over the pavement, causing road rash and other, far more serious injuries. Unfortunately, many rear-end collisions can leave motorcyclists permanently injured, disabled or even dead.
Accidents in Lane Changes
Motorcycle accidents that occur during lane changes usually stem from blind spots on other vehicles. However, this doesn’t only mean huge trucks; SUVs, minivans and even smaller cars have blind spots that make it difficult for drivers to see motorcycles in certain angles. However, these accidents can also occur when the driver of another vehicle fails to use their signal before changing lanes. A motorcyclist may not anticipate the lane change and collide with the larger vehicle.
Dooring is a type of motorcycle accident that happens when a driver opens the door to their vehicle while parked without taking into consideration that a motorcycle is heading toward them. The rider can collide with the open door and go flying off the motorcycle or swerve to avoid a dooring mishap and end up in an accident with another vehicle on the road. These accidents are usually avoidable if people first check to ensure that it’s clear before opening their doors.
Some motorcycle accidents happen at intersections when drivers in other vehicles fail to see a motorcycle or don’t yield the right of way. These accidents often result in fatalities, but they are largely avoidable. Drivers and motorcyclists alike must always use extra caution and look all around to ensure that intersections and the areas around them are clear before proceeding.
Low-Side and High-Side Crashes
Low-side and high-side crashes are other common types of motorcycle accidents. A low-side crash occurs when a motorcyclist is traveling while leaning into a corner at too fast a speed. This collision usually doesn’t cause tremendous damage compared with a high-side crash; in that type of accident, the rear tire of the motorcycle loses traction and regains it, which forces the rider up and off the vehicle. Among the biggest reasons for high-side crashes are braking too hard on slippery grounds or leaning too far into a curve on the road.
Some motorcycle accidents occur because the vehicle goes off-road. Depending on the situation and where the motorcycle crashes, this can be a mild accident or one resulting in severe injuries. Other people, especially pedestrians, can also be involved and suffer injuries.
Collisions with Stationary Objects
Collisions with stationary objects involve a motorcycle striking something like a tree, mailbox, guardrail or even a parked vehicle. Usually, these accidents stem from reckless operation, riding under the influence or losing control of the motorcycle.
Group Riding Incidents
Some motorcycle accidents involve groups of riders. Usually, these incidents happen because riders or drivers of other vehicles are distracted. In some cases, they occur because other drivers fail to see the motorcycles due to blind spots or negligence.
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Florida’s Motorcycle Accident Statistics
When considering Florida’s motorcycle accident statistics, it’s important to note the state’s ranking in motorcycle fatalities nationwide and factors involved in fatal motorcycle collisions.
Florida’s Ranking in Motorcycle Fatalities Nationwide
According to research by Lending Tree’s QuoteWizard, Florida ranks at number four in terms of the most motorcycle accident fatalities across the nation. In recent years, deaths stemming from these accidents have increased by approximately 20%. Out of these incidents, around 32% were due to alcohol intoxication.
Over a five-year period, it was determined that most fatal motorcycle collisions occurred during the spring and summer in Florida. Weekends accounted for the majority of these deaths.
Fatal Motorcycle Collisions
Although Florida requires all riders younger than 21 to wear a helmet and all riders to wear eye protection, some of these riders failed to take such precautions; in recent years, as high as 52% of all riders involved in motorcycle fatalities in Florida failed to wear a helmet. This statistic put Florida second only behind Iowa.
Common Motorcycle Crash Causes
There are a number of common motorcycle crash causes. They include reckless driving and speeding, impaired driving, distracted motorcycle operation, left-turn accidents, adverse road conditions, problems while cornering, encounters with animals and weather-related incidents.
Reckless Driving and Speeding
Motorcycle accidents can occur whether the rider or the driver of another vehicle speeds or engages in reckless behavior. Regardless of who is responsible for this type of accident, the consequences can be devastating for motorcyclists.
Just like drivers of passenger vehicles, motorcyclists should avoid impaired riding. A rider under the influence of alcohol or drugs can get into a severe crash resulting in catastrophic injuries or even death.
Distracted Motorcycle Operation
Motorcycle accidents can occur when riders are distracted. If a rider takes their eyes off the road for even a few seconds, they can crash into another vehicle, stationary object or even a pedestrian or lose control by skidding out. Distracted riding accidents are among the most avoidable.
Left-turn accidents are common types of motorcycle accidents. They often occur when a motorcycle has the right of way to proceed straight and a larger vehicle makes a left turn, colliding into it. Sometimes, the motorcycle is the one turning left and another driver of a car or other larger vehicle fails to yield the right of way.
Adverse Road Conditions
Road construction, obstacles and roads in disrepair can lead to motorcycle accidents. These adverse road conditions can cause a rider to run over an object such as a rock or gravel, slide or skid or even be thrown depending on the situation. When construction takes place on the road, it might call for quick-thinking actions. For example, a lane might end prematurely, requiring a rider to merge onto the next closest lane.
Problems While Cornering
One of the biggest hazards for motorcyclists is riding around corners. Depending on the speed and whether any obstacles are on the road, this can lead to problems while cornering and an accident. It’s common for motorcycles to slide too much while making a turn into a corner as the rider loses control.
Encounters with Animals
Encounters with animals are serious for passenger vehicles and are even more so for motorcycle riders. If a motorcycle hits an animal or a rider swerves to avoid hitting one on the road, it can cause an accident. The rider can be thrown or end up colliding with a larger vehicle and suffer severe injuries or even be killed.
Motorcycle riders must take extra precautions when riding in certain weather conditions. Riding in the rain, wind or fog can cause a variety of problems. For example, when it rains, the ground becomes slick and slippery, which can make it more difficult to slow down and brake when necessary. Fog makes it more difficult to see, increasing the risk of a motorcycle accident. Strong enough winds can also lead to weather-related incidents as the rider could lose control if the motorcycle gets pushed by the force of it.
Motorcycle Regulations in Florida
Florida has certain regulations and laws for riding a motorcycle. This includes traffic regulations, helmet usage requirements and license criteria for motorcyclists.
In Florida, motorcycles must use full lanes. Lane splitting, the practice of riding between lanes to pass traffic, is prohibited. It is also against the law to bypass another vehicle already at the front of a lane waiting to proceed.
Helmet Usage Requirements
Florida requires all motorcycle riders under 21 to wear a helmet. The law also requires all riders regardless of age to wear protective eye gear while riding.
Helmet Usage Trends in Florida Compared to the United States
Florida only requires motorcycle riders younger than 21 to wear helmets. Some other states have similar laws while others require riders 18 and under to wear helmets. However, 18 states and the District of Columbia require all riders to wear helmets regardless of age.
Licensing Criteria for Motorcyclists
Florida requires a person to have a learner’s permit for at least one year without any traffic convictions before they can obtain their motorcycle license. This type of license is also known as a motorcycle endorsement.
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Determining Fault and Liability in Florida Motorcycle Accidents
There are different criteria that can determine fault and liability in Florida motorcycle accidents. The cause of the accident can often provide this information. For example, if a driver of a passenger vehicle is distracted at the time of an accident with a motorcyclist, it shows that the driver is at fault and liable.
Aftermath of a Florida Motorcycle Collision
After a motorcycle accident, it’s important to take certain steps. If you are able to do so, taking photos and documenting the scene is crucial. You should also exchange information with the other driver involved in the accident and get the names and contact information of witnesses.
Necessary Medical Attention Following a Crash
Another important action to take after a motorcycle accident is to seek medical attention. Even if you feel unhurt, some injuries remain dormant for several hours or days. It gives you the opportunity to get the treatment you need and have evidence in the form of your medical records. It’s always smart to get medical attention because your well-being is the most important thing.
Engaging Legal Representation
You should also find an attorney who can represent you if you plan on filing a personal injury lawsuit. Many motorcycle accidents result in serious, sometimes catastrophic injuries; insurance often doesn’t cover the full costs of these damages, but you can recover more in compensation from a successful lawsuit.
Motorcycle riders can stay safe by always obeying all traffic laws. Wearing the right gear such as long pants, boots, jackets and gloves can keep them safer in varying conditions. Avoiding alcohol and drugs when riding can prevent impaired riding. Motorcyclists should always be seen, which means wearing brightly-colored clothing and reflectors and using their headlights in darkness and inclement weather.
Advice for Motorcyclists
The best advice motorcyclists can receive to stay safe on the road is to be a smart rider. In addition to following all rules of the road, it’s crucial to give plenty of space between your motorcycle and the vehicle ahead of you. It gives you ample time to stop in different situations to avoid a collision.
Guidelines for Motor Vehicle Operators
Motor vehicle operators should always be aware when sharing the road with motorcycles. Knowing their vehicle’s blind spots and always looking behind and all around them can help to avoid a potential motorcycle accident. They should also yield the right of way to motorcycles.
Involved in a Motorcycle Accident in Florida?
If you were involved in a motorcycle accident in Florida, you will want to file a personal injury lawsuit as soon as possible. Some of the most common injuries from such incidents are severe. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are also common. Perhaps you weren’t involved in the accident but lost a loved one to a motorcycle collision. You have the right to seek legal recourses if you were injured or you lost a loved one to a wrongful death situation after a motorcycle accident.
Many people suffer severe injuries in motorcycle accidents. One of the most common affects the spinal cord and can lead to temporary or even permanent paralysis. This can significantly diminish your quality of life and even shorten your life expectancy if you suffer from quadriplegia.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
TBI is another common injury sustained in motorcycle accidents. They can range from mild and temporary to severe and permanent. However, even a milder concussion should be taken seriously as it can lead to complications if not promptly treated. TBIs are more common when riders fail to wear helmets while on motorcycles. Although Florida law only requires people under 21 to wear helmets, it’s wise to wear one regardless of your age for your protection in the event of an accident.
Wrongful Death Cases
Sadly, many people are killed in motorcycle accidents that were not their fault. If the driver of another vehicle behaved negligently or recklessly, causing someone you love to be killed, you have a right to have their personal representative file a wrongful death case on behalf of your family.
Legal Recourse Options
Depending on the situation surrounding a motorcycle accident, you have different legal recourse options. If you were injured while riding and someone else caused the accident, you can file a personal injury claim against that party’s auto insurance. If your damages exceed what the insurance company would pay, it’s better to file a lawsuit directly against the individual.
When a person is killed in a motorcycle accident caused by another driver, their personal representative can file a wrongful death lawsuit on the surviving family’s behalf.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Does Florida Have the Highest Motorcycle Fatalities?
Florida has the highest motorcycle fatalities because the weather frequently makes the roads more dangerous for riders.
What State Has the Highest Rate of Motorcycle Accidents?
Texas has the highest rate of motorcycle accidents.
How Many People Died in Motorcycle Accidents in Florida?
In 2020, there were 552 deaths stemming from motorcycle accidents in Florida. In 2021, 621 people died in such incidents. In 2022, 550 lost their lives in motorcycle accidents according to Ride Smart Florida.
How Common Are Motorcycle Accidents in Florida?
In Florida, motorcycle accidents make up only 2% of all road accidents. On average, the state is fourth in the most motorcycle accident fatalities in the country.
What City Has the Most Motorcycle Accidents?
Jacksonville is the most dangerous city for motorcycle accidents with a rate of 4.42 per 100,000 residents affected.
Is It Safe to Ride a Motorcycle in Florida?
It’s considered dangerous to ride a motorcycle in Florida, at least during hurricane season and in the rain. Limiting your riding to pleasant, dry conditions is safer.
How Safe Are Motorcycles in Florida?
Florida sees several hundred fatal motorcycle accidents each year, which makes riding unsafe compared with other states.
How Many Motorcycle Deaths Per Year in USA
In the U.S., there are around 6,000 deaths from motorcycle accidents each year.
Where Do Most Motorcycle Deaths Happen?
Most motorcycle deaths happen in Texas, Arkansas and Missouri.
What Is the Safest State for Motorcycle Riders?
Hawaii is considered the safest state for motorcycle riders.
What Is the Safest Motorcycle?
The Yamaha YZF-R6 is the safest motorcycle.
What Type of Motorcycle Has the Most Accidents?
Super-sport bikes and sport bikes are the types of motorcycles that have the most accidents.
How Many Motorcycle Riders Are in Florida?
In Florida, there are over 1,370,000 motorcycle riders.